This Saturday we took an outing to the Strip District, a lively food-related shopping neighborhood in Pittsburgh. We explored the public market, full of local artisanal vendors, and a lot of the fun shops along Penn Avenue. Everyone smiled as we passed–the woman selling glitter tattoos, the two women in the woodworking shop, a pair of grandparents who watched, amused, as we took turns alternately holding both babies and visiting the restroom (a challenge).
In New York, taking the babies on the subway required carrying them up and down dozens of flights of stairs, getting tired before we reached the destination. Or carrying the strollers up and down stairs. Same problem. Or alternately taking a car service–other challenges. Our car has changed the equation. We put the babies, the Ergos, and the diaper bag in the car and drove to the Strip District. We strapped them on and were already there, ready to go. While out we decided to buy a gallon of olive oil, a bottle of red wine vinegar, a bottle of wine, and six doughnuts. And a bottle of water. And some ham and cheese deli slices. And some anisette biscotti (yum). Don’t ask how we managed to lug all that plus two twenty-pound babies back to the car. We almost made it except for dropping the bottle of vinegar right outside the store as we were leaving (it ripped through the bag), which cracked in shards and smelled like a stink bomb. Oops. But the store owner was nice enough to replace the bottle free of charge. I think the babies make us more sympathetic.
We realized it was really the first time since the babies were born that we’d gone out on a Saturday just for the heck of it. I can sort of remember, back before the babies, when we used to visit galleries, or a museum, or the farmer’s market on a lazy Saturday. Life is beginning to feel slightly more normal. A new normal, that is.